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On the path to a cure for cancer

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GUEST EDITORIAL

Relay for Life brings together people from all walks of life in a common cause

By Judy Beasley, Galax/Carroll Relay for Life

Relay for Life brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups - people from all walks of life - all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.
Walkers will go around the track in the battle against cancer when the 2014 American Cancer Society Relay For Life of the City of Galax and Carroll County gets underway at Carroll County High School from 6 p.m. on July 25 to 1 a.m. on July 26.
If you have never been to a Relay for Life Event, this is something you do not want to miss for another year.
Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park or other gathering area, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their camp sites during Relay.
Relay is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost, and fight back against the disease.
Many of the participants are cancer survivors, which serves as a reminder that Galax and Carroll County are not immune to this disease and that by participating in Relay, we are joining with the American Cancer Society’s efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
Relay For Life’s luminaria ceremony takes place after sundown, honoring the community’s cancer survivors and remembering those lost to the disease. Participants will circle a track that is surrounded with glowing luminaria that bear the name of someone who has battled cancer.
Funds raised at the relay are enabling the American Cancer Society to impact the lives of those touched by cancer within the community.
The American Cancer Society has an active presence in the City of Galax and Carroll County. We have several programs that benefit cancer patients.  For breast cancer patients, we have our Reach to Recovery program; for all women, we have our Look Good Feel Better program; there are free wigs, turbans and breast prosthesis for women who cannot afford any of these items. Everyone who is diagnosed with cancer should call our toll-free number (1-800-227-2345) and ask for information about their type of cancer.  This number also connects you to our dietician on call, for cancer patients who are having problems with their diet.
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than 3 million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.
As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do.
As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year.
To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.